Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Women

JAMA; 2018 Sep 4; US Preventive Services Task Force

Early screening for syphilis infection is recommended in all pregnant women and provides substantial benefit, according to a recently updated recommendation statement from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The recommendation is a reaffirmation of the USPSTF 2009 recommendation statement. Using a reaffirmation process, the USPSTF found that accurate screening algorithms are available to identify syphilis infection and that effective treatment with antibiotics can prevent congenital syphilis and significantly decrease adverse pregnancy outcomes. The recommendation statement reads:

  • The USPSTF recommends early screening for syphilis infection in all pregnancy women (A recommendation).


US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for syphilis infection in pregnant women. US Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. JAMA. 2018;320(9):911–917. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.11785.